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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Solid intro to Sandy Koufax's life has many statistics and interesting baseball stories.
Work hard to meet your goal, and don't let setbacks hold you back. Stand up for what you believe in.
Positive Role Models
Sandy Koufax was determined to play baseball and succeed in the Major Leagues and he achieved his goal through courage, hard work, talent, and perseverance. He was Jewish and showed integrity when he famously refused to play in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series when it was scheduled Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day. Earlier in his career he had refused to play on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Shows that Sand Koufax succeeded as a Jewish baseball player despite the antisemitism that existed in Major League Baseball at the time. One key part of his biography was his refusal to play in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it took place on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter is a great introduction to the famous pitcher. This inspiring picture book biography shows his struggles and recalls that that he refused to play on a Jewish holy day. The narrator sounds like an old teammate of Sandy's, with dropped g's and lots of "aint" in the text, making it a fun read-aloud. There are plenty of baseball statistics, too, and the stylized illustrations by Andre Carrilho are exceptional.
Is It Any Good?
Koufax's story is inspiring, and author Jonah Winter relates it easily using a friendly, colloquial voice ostensibly belonging to one of Koufax's unnamed teammates. The tone makes You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! a fun read-aloud for adults, and the picture book format gives even reluctant readers an easy way to get a lot of baseball history and stick-to-it inspiration in one sitting.
But what really makes this book a knockout are Andre Carrilho's highly stylized illustrations. Detailed with gold foil, the pictures manage to look modern while capturing the retro mood of the story. The heavy shadowing accurately imparts the drama of Koufax's story and the smooth swirl of graphite curves helps create movement, which is appropriate for a sports story.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.